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Post to Ponder - Lord Woodhouselee and democracy

I heard an interesting quote on Television last night and looked it up today.


"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess of the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship....


The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence:

from spiritual faith to great courage;

from liberty to abundance;

from abundance to selfishness;

from selfishness to complacency;

from complacency to apathy;

from apathy to dependence;


from dependency back again to bondage."




Written back in the late 1700's by Lord Woodhouselee, Sir Alex Fraser Tytler, a Scottish jurist, professor and historian.

I saw this last night on the Glenn Beck show. (no booing) Occasionally Father ropes me into watching Glenn Beck with him and last night Beck was all fired up. He annoys the heck out of me and this is the reason why. He quoted the above material saying he loved it and it made so much sense and really getting into the semantics of it. But surprise-surprise didn't know who had said it. By the end of the show the staff found out and told Beck. Probably because it sounded really stupid admitting he didn't know who wrote it. Beck, then offhandedly remarked who wrote it as if it didn't matter. I can't stand reporters who don't check their sources, who don't check the accuracy of their material, who can't back their words up with facts. It only causes doubt and reflects on their credibility.

Despite that, the quote is interesting. Where would you say we are at this point in time? Complacent, apathetic or dependent. Beck thinks we are at the dependent point and headed towards bondage. Which made me think - where does that place Obama. As a descendant of slavery, he represents the ultimate freedom from slavery. And if the next step is bondage, he would be the one responsible for reducing our country back into that state. Full circle.

Let's hope he breaks the circle.


Comments

  1. Beck isn't a reporter. He's a circus clown--he's said so himself.

    I think the quote is interesting, but I don't agree with it. Yeah, it would be true if a society was made up of one type of person (or at least one type of person who voted--e.g., male landowners as it was in 18th century England), but in a society where all different types of people are voting, the distribution of money and power should be more spread out.

    And why shouldn't people get their money back via government programs? I don't know much about Lord Woodhouselee or his philosophy, but it sounds me like he's arguing in favor of moneyed ruling class to keep the peons in line.

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  2. Excellent post. Just an FYI, Beck isn't a reporter... I can see how that would be irritating though.

    As for Obama, let's go back to the quote. "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the VOTERS discover that they can vote themselves largess of the public treasury. From that time on the MAJORITY always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship...."

    I don't believe President Obama will be responsible for it. It won't be him who propels us into slavery. It will be the majority of the people. While I do believe we are moving from apathy to dependency, I won't blame the elected officials if things get worse. We get to decide what happens. We're still a democracy at this point. :)

    As to why people shouldn't get there money back (earlier comment), my question is why should the government be taking so much in the first place? Seems silly to me. If you're going to give, the Government will take and take. Governments never shrink, they grow. So it would seem to me that the solution would be less programs to fund so we had more money in our pockets to begin with.

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